If there was one tip I wish someone had given me when I first became a travel agent was this: Do NOT take any and all business that comes your way. Instead, establish a boundary from day 1. The boundary could be based upon a minimum amount of commission you will make per booking. It could be based upon a minimum of budget of your client. For example, you might decide that anything less than $500 in commission is just not worth your time, so your boundary is to not work on any inquiry where the client’s travel budget is less than $5,000.
If you are a newbie, i.e., someone who recently became a travel agent, I know all too well that it’s going to be very tempting to take any and all inquiries that come your way. You are most likely going to ignore my advice about the boundary because you will convince yourself that it’s good practice for you, even if the commission is measly.
Right? Wrong. Saying “no” to a potential client is one of those seemingly small, insignificant steps that will produce great, positive dividends for the future of your business. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at some negative ramifications of saying “yes” to an undesirable new inquiry:
- If you say “yes”, you will be too busy to take the phone call that leads to a much better, much bigger booking, (which goes to another travel advisor before you have time to return the call).
- If you say “yes”, you make a loud statement to the universe that you are worth a measly $112 in commission for 8 hours of work. It’s like you are shouting “bring me more of this thing I do not want!”
- If you say “yes”, you won’t have time to implement the important pieces of your marketing plan and establish sound marketing systems that effectively market to your ideal clients.
As a newbie, you might feel uncomfortable turning business away. Thus, I have come up with a script for you that is polite and clear. Feel free to tweak it to your liking:
“Thank you so much for coming to me. I really appreciate your business. But, in order to service my clients best, I have to stick to what I know best. It doesn’t do my clients any good for me to work on business outside my expertise. Your inquiry falls outside my expertise, so I would like to refer you to a travel advisor (or resource if you think no other travel advisor would want the business either – you can refer to an online booking engine) that can better serve you. I wish you the best and please think of me when your travel plans include (insert your specialty here.)”
If you like this script and want more direction for taking your travel business to a whole new level, then consider investing in Gifted Travel Network’s Travel MBA Program, www.getyourtravelmba.com.